IGCP, in collaboration with AWF, works with local people to benefit both the gorillas and the community. One of these initiatives is a community gift shop in Rwanda, which sells locally made handicrafts and food items. A percent of the profits go to fund other community projects while the remaining percent is reinvested in the shop. AWF has also worked with the local people and the private sector to design and construct community-owned tourist lodges that substantially benefit the local people who share their backyards with gorillas and other wildlife. Despite the good news of a growing population, mountain gorillas are still critically endangered. We must not be complacent. The slow rate of reproduction among mountain gorillas makes the challenge of keeping the population stable a difficult one.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Virunga Heartland features the last remaining habitat of one of the world’s rarest primates, the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei). important research and working to ensure the survival of the mountain gorilla since the late 1970s. This important work has continued in spite of extraordinary circumstances. The human suffering during the Rwandan civil war of the 1990s was incalculable, but without the intervention and continued support of AWF and its partners, the victims of war might also have included the mountain gorilla. Historically, mountain gorillas have been threatened by poaching, loss of habitat from population pressures, civil unrest and spread of disease. And as human populations get closer to gorilla habitats, the gorillas are at greater risk of contracting human diseases, from flu-like problems and pneumonia to ebola.